Ever just miss someone all of a sudden? Maybe it was a song or a smell or a flower that reminded you of them. Maybe it's their birthday. Or an anniversary. Or maybe you just miss them.
I, like many others, miss people who were special to me and who have passed away. Some have been gone for a long time. My mother's mother died when I was not quite 3. I was her first grandchild and from what I have been told, I spent quite a bit of time with her. I remember a few little, random things - this park we used to visit in Winchester (I really just remember weeping willows - my mother told me where we went) and the little Dachshund we used to see. What I do believe I remember is the day she died. She wanted to see me but because I was a child I was not allowed in the hospital. I remember being in the parking lot with my dad and seeing her up in the window. I have a pretty good memory so it might be real, even though I was so young. She's been gone almost 47 years and I miss her. I think I miss the relationship I know we would have had. She never met my brothers and she would have adored them. Her birthday is next month and I still note it on my calendar.
My dad's mother died in 2005 and I miss her very much. Today, March 9, is her 104th birthday. It makes me sad that she never met my niece, Shannon and she never met my husband. They both would have charmed her socks off. She taught me to crochet and whenever I do I feel close to her. I often use the first hook she gave me - it was her favorite and it is mine. She hated the idea of cooking with fake substitutions - she believed natural was better. I used to roll my eyes at her and preach low-fat this and low-fat that. She'd roll her eyes right back and tell me real ingredients were better. You know what - she was right. I prepare more healthy recipes using fewer "fake" elements and better natural ingredients.
I also miss people who are still living. I do not get to see them often or often enough. Most live close by and the business of life rips the time from the calendar at an alarming speed. Our visits become fewer and farther between. It is also very easy to get wrapped up in our own schedules and patterns...it is sometimes very difficult to even think about veering away from what we always do to make time for anything else. I am not sure if that is a casualty of growing older - we don't remember how to just let go. What's the harm in meeting for coffee or ice cream or a short walk. Will everything break or stop working or grind to a halt. Nope. I think that, as we age, we need each other to help keep grounded. I have a husband who never skips a chance to hug and I love that. But I also love hugging my female friends. It's a special bond we have where sometimes a hug is all we need.
I am vowing to see people I miss more. When some of you hear me forcing you to meet me despite schedule issues and whatever - know it is because I miss you. Ask my sister-in-law Erin - my mother and I were having lunch last week and I asked Erin to join us. I felt like seeing her. I do not get to spend much time with her and I felt that morning that I really wanted her to join us. So I gave her two hours notice and she beat us to the restaurant. I was very happy she did that. Yes - she had 957 other things to do, but she put them aside for a little bit and the three of us had fun.
As a Christian, the season of Lent has me thinking of many things. I am not one of those "must-give-up-everything-and-then-whine-about-it" types. I like thinking of making other changes. Giving up unhealthy things or habits. And cleaning. Spring Cleaning. Lent is a time to put away what we can do without, so we can be free to focus on getting ready for the joy of Easter - it is the right time to spring clean our souls and our minds. The United Church Of Christ, to which I belong, is doing a great Spring Clean for Lent. It was today's posting that made me think of the other side of missing people -- the people I have on the edge of my life who probably don't need to be there any more. Maybe at one time we were close but we are not now. Maybe we only caught up from time to time but now we do not. I learned this lesson some time ago, so that is a short list. This is the time - my spring cleaning. I don't miss them and, obviously, they do not miss me. Our guide for today: Lent Day 24 (22) (3/9/13): Say goodbye to
someone you need to say goodbye to. Whatever the circumstances, good or
bad, remember that “goodbye” comes from “God be with you.”
Time flies by so quickly and nothing much is guaranteed. Bring people closer or let them go. Make the time for people who are important. If you are not sure you can let go - I say to you - "God be with you" is not the worst way to send someone off into the world.